Applicants need to demonstrate ‘specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion’
Applicants for teaching jobs at the University of California Berkeley lost points during interviews if they did not demonstrate sufficient awareness and commitment to “diversity, equity and inclusion,” according to recently released documents.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression obtained the documents after a two-year battle for information on the public university’s use of diversity statements in hiring. While the University of California system has not hidden that it wants applicants to support DEI as part of hiring, the new documents shed light on how it has been implemented.
FIRE reported on June 14:
The university expects all new faculty hires to “be committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging[.]” During the 2018-19 academic year, Berkeley’s life sciences departments launched an initiative to advance faculty diversity. As part of the initiative, applicants for full-time faculty positions were required to submit statements on their “contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion,” including information about their “understanding of these topics,” “record of activities to date,” and “specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion.”
The statements are used to weed out applicants during the first round of interviews.
A rubric obtained by FIRE showed that applicants were given the lowest possible score if they seemed “uncomfortable discussing diversity-related issues” or stated they “had little experience with these issues because of lack of exposure, but then not provide any evidence of having informed themselves.”
The best candidates “[d]iscusse[d] diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values that every faculty member should actively contribute to advancing.”
Candidates were also expected to not just be knowledgeable about DEI but also participate in diversity activities.
The ideal candidates would have “[o]rganized or spoken at workshops or other events (depending on career stage) aimed at increasing others’ understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion as one aspect of their track record” or “[s]erved as a leader in a student or professional organization that supports underrepresented individuals.”
“Unsurprisingly, all five of the life sciences departments’ new faculty hires endorsed Berkeley’s commitment to DEI initiatives,” FIRE reported.
The use of a DEI portfolio in hiring is not unique to UC Berkeley. For example, Indiana University’s medical school will consider faculty work on DEI issues in promotion and tenure considerations.
The new policy requires “candidates for promotion and/or tenure [to] demonstrate efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion,” according to the faculty affairs website.
Some opportunities to qualify as sufficiently woke include the creation of “workshops for high school students to address LGBTQ+ awareness and resources” or taking classes on “microaggressions, unconscious bias, upstander training; culturally relevant mentoring; inclusive teaching,” according to a sample list, as previously reported by The College Fix.
IMAGE: University of California Berkeley